By Emmanuel Daudu, Abuja
The Nigerian Defence Media Operations has disclosed that Exercise Obangame Express, an operation of the Nigerian Navy in conjunction with US AFRICOM has intercepted vessels, which are FV MAGNOLTA and FV JASMIN, MT QUEEN OF PEACE loaded with 1,257 cubic metres of stolen crude oil with 14 crew members on board, while MT HARBOUR SPIRIT was also intercepted for suspected illegal activities and forged documents. A total of 16 vessels, 21 crew members were interrogated and 5 arrested with in the Exercise period. The overall assessment of the Exercise was adjudged successful as it lived up to it bidding. Also, during the Exercise Nigerian own patrol vessels intercepted fishing vessels carrying out illegal fishing activities on our coastal waters.
Major General Benard Onyeuko, Director Defence Media Operations of the Directorate Of Defence Media Operations On Armed Forces Of Nigeria’s Military Operations made this known during the bi-weekly media briefing held at the Defence Headquarters, New Conference Room On Thursday 24 March 2022 in Abuja.
According to him,
“Troops in the theatre of OPERATIONS DELTA SAFE have in the last 2 weeks intensified raids operations against oil thieves and other economic saboteurs in different communities, towns, villages and creeks in Ajomo Creeks, Koko town in Warri North Local Government Area, Obodo, Okpoko river in Warri South Local Government Area, Obiayaga, Eruwaram in Ugeli South Local Government Area, Aker Jetty, Bakana Creek, Afremo, Ogidigben, Obotobo, Saghara Creek in Warri South West Local Government Area, Bodo in Gokana Local Government Area, Burutu Creeks, Oboro, Alabgba Biri Communities in Burutu Local Government Area, Warri Sapele road in Urwie Local Government Area all in Delta State. other locations are Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Elele, Owerri in Ekwere Local Government Area of River State and Ozoaku Local Government Area of Abia State respectively.
“During the operations, troops also discovered and destroyed 49 illegal refineries, 275 polythene bags containing illegal refined AGO, 146 ovens, 145 receivers, 4 boilers, 125 metal storage tanks, 8 GP tanks, 19 drums, 69 50litres jerry cans, 81 galvanized pipes, 85 dugout pits, 5 warehouses and pots containing illegal refined AGO. Cumulatively, troops within the period under review neutralized 1 militant, recovered Six Million Six Hundred and Seventy-Nine Thousand (6,679,000) litres of illegal refined AGO, Four Million Four Hundred Thirty-Six Thousand (4,436,000) litres of stolen crude oil, 1 gun boat, I BMG gun, 1 AK 47 rifle, 5 MCs, several rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 12 motorcycles, 20 wooden boats, 15 pumping machines, 2 trucks, 1 ford, 3 speedboats, 5 engines, 1 keke, 5 vehicles. Furthermore, 70 economic saboteurs associated with pipeline vandalization and other criminal elements were apprehended. All recovered items and apprehended criminals have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.
“Own troops continued clearance operations at Malekachi, Danlayi in Danko Local Government Area of Kebbi State. Other locations include Guga Village in Bakori Local Government Area, Farin Dutse in Fari Kama Village, Kwanenem Tukwane Village in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State and Rabah, Tangaza Local Government Area, Sabon Garin Liman Village in Wurno Local Government Area of Sokoto State. The Air Component of the OPERATION HADARIN DAJI carried out air interdiction on 14 March 2022 at Unguwar Adam village in Dan Musa Local Government Area of Katsina State. Following intelligent report about the gathering of terrorists possibly for a meeting of their key Commanders and leaders, it dispatched an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to monitor activities at the location. It was confirmed that over 50 of the terrorists congregated for the meeting. Consequently, the air component vectored the fighter jet to the location, human intelligence gathered indicates that 27 of the terrorists were neutralized. Prominent among those neutralized include one Mallam Sule who is a brother to major bandit Lalbi Ginshima was a major setback for the group.
“Furthermore, another air interdiction was carried out at a terrorist enclave at Magaba in Kaduna State, neutralizing scores of the terrorists while those fleeing were trailed and mopped up by ground troops. Cumulatively, own troops neutralized 8 Bandits, arrested 7 bandits, rescued 56 civilians and recovered 1 AK 47 rifles, 2 generators, 3 MC, 1 motorcycle and 1 pumping machine. All arrested, rescued civilians and recovered items have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.
Speaking on the success stories from Operation Hadin Kai , he said, ” the troops of OPERATION HADIN KAI recorded success as the air components in this theatre of operation on 15 March 2022 conducted air strikes on terrorist within the Lake Chad Region and Tumbuns Close to Wulgo in Marte Local Government Area of Borno State. During the airstrikes key members of Islamic State of West African Province were neutralized. Other operations were conducteed in Marsele, Musini, Gwoza, Liman Kara, Mandara, Fadhis, Waitini, Galdekore, Izza, Garin Ba’abba, Sambisa forest, Ashigashiya all in Borno State. The operational achievement include neutralization of 17 terrorists, arrest of 35 terrorists, recovered 34 AK 47, 5 dane gun, 9 locally made guns, 270 rustled cows, 3 motor cycles, AK 74 and 13 bicycles used for logistics movement. while 7000 Islamic State of West Africa Province/Boko Haram Terrorist from different location surrendered to own troops. Troops also rescued 27 civilians. The surrendered terrorists have been profiled, while rescued civilians and recovered items were handed over to appropriate authorities for further action.
“Within the period under review, troops conducted clearance operations in Kitagun Village in Bassa Local Government Area, Adua Village in Bashar district in Wase Local Government Area, Tenti town in Bokkos Local Government Area, Mangu town in Mangu Local Government Area, Bisichi in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State. Other locations include Fadan Karshi, Ankwa in Sanga Local Government Area, Kurmin Masara in Zango Kataf Local Government Area and Jangidi in Jema’a Local Government Area, Fadan Chawai in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Subsequently, troops recovered several stolen railway sleepers, 3 trucks, 1 J5 bus, 2 AK47 rifles with extra magazines. Troops rescued 3 civilians, neutralized 2 bandits and apprehended 19 criminal/bandits. All recovered items, rescued civilians and apprehended criminals were handed over to the appropriate authorities for further actions.
“OPERATION WHIRL STROKE: Troops at the frontline of OPERATION WHIRL STROKE within the last 2 weeks by conducted raid and clearance operations in different location which include: Ubise, Atunbe, Aguyi, Tse Keji, Abite, Weeghyina, Wende, Mbachie Kpokpo, Awande, Kasari, Tse Gaya, Kyonke in Mbayongo Council Ward of Katsina Ala Local Government Area, Tse-Ikyaan, Tse-Mondo, Agi, Tse Mou, Tse Oragbai, Tse Gbegir in Ukemberegya and Tswarev Council Ward of Logo Local Government Area, Sengev Council Ward of Gwer West Local Government Area, Iwewe Community in Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State. Other locations are Sarkin Kudu in Ibi Local Government Area of Taraba State and Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. Consequently, own troops neutralized 10 bandits, arrested 5 bandits, recovered 1 Peugeot Wagon vehicle, some weapons including: double barrel gun, AK47 rifles, 3 magazines, assorted calibers of ammunitions, 11 motorcycles, 3 solar panels, 2 MC, 17 cell phones and dangerous local weapons. All recovered items have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for necessary actions”, he added.
More also, Chief of Defence Staff commended troops in all theatre of operations for the modest feats recorded and enjoins troops to remain professional, vigilant and exhibit utmost caution respect for human rights of citizens in their respective Area of Responsibilities.